Murillo’s Birth of the Virgin

September 4th 2021

“The Birth of the Virgin”, Bartolomé Esteban Murillo, 1661, Louvre, Paris.

Although the Virgin was conceived without sin, her birth would have been as natural as any other.  This is what Murillo’s painting conveys.  Yes, there are angels in attendance and the child has a halo, but these elements don’t detract from the obvious delight which the women take in the new born child.  Quite naturally, her mother rests in bed the background.  The low view point suggests an upstairs bedroom, while little angel playing with the dog adds to the air of contemporary domesticity.  Dogs are often understood to be be symbols of loyalty and faithfulness but this little animal, who has befriended the angel,  may well stand as a sign for us  of God’s Providence. 

Murillo’s Birth of the Virgin

Edinburgh Catholic Chaplaincy

The Catholic Chaplaincy serves the students and staff of the University of Edinburgh, Edinburgh Napier University and Queen Margaret University.

The Catholic Chaplaincy is also a parish of the Archdiocese of St Andrews and Edinburgh (the Parish of St Albert the Great) and all Catholic students and staff are automatically members of this parish.

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